Holmdel High School considers making start time 40 minutes later for students

High school students may get to rise and shine a little later in Holmdel next year.
Starting next September, the school board is looking to move the start time to 40 minutes later. According to research done by this administration, teens who get more sleep are less likely to be late, feel tired and are overall in better health.
Students and parents are already making adjustments to the likely change.
"My initial reaction was I didn't want it but the more I talk to [Principal] Dr. Kukota and the rest of my staff here, they persuaded me more with more details on it," said Lukas Lundh, a sophomore.
"It's a little heartbreaking when I see the kids waiting for the bus and it's literally dark out and they are using their phones as flashlights," said Janice Palme, a mother of three.
Following several districts in North Jersey, Holmdel High School looks to push the clock by 40 minutes - a 7:20 a.m. start time would become 8 a.m.
"I think it would keep me more alert in class and also help my morning routine so I cannot rush in the shower and be able to take my time in the morning," added Megan Flannery, a junior at Holmdel High.
To make room for a later start and not affect after-school activities, the six class periods would be shortened by three minutes each, and dismissal time extended by just over 20 minutes.
"Anything that we can do to place a keener focus on the mental health in particular of middle to upper adolescent students was really the forefront of what we are doing here," said Dr. Scott Cascone, Holmdel School District Superintendent.
Making these changes would align the high school schedule with the middle school. Bus routes and logistics still have to be worked out but these changes would come at no cost to taxpayers.
Legislation proposed in New Jersey last year would move the earliest start times for most high schools to 8:30 a.m.